Shakeup in District 5 following primary election

Cheri Bryant Hamilton and Donna Purvis. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Cheri Bryant Hamilton and Donna Purvis. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Updated: May. 23, 2018 at 6:19 PM EDT
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Cheri Bryant Hamilton. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Cheri Bryant Hamilton. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Donna Purvis. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Donna Purvis. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - An original Metro Council member has been voted out of office.

Wednesday, a lot of talk followed the fallout from a big Kentucky primary day, especially in Louisville Metro Council District 5 race. Longtime councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton was defeated by a candidate who took her first jab at politics.


District 5 includes the neighborhoods of Chickasaw, Shawnee, and Portland.

Hamilton's loss comes less than a week after an ethics complaint was filed against her. Her opponent, Donna Purvis, who won the democratic primary, said the writing was on the wall well before that.

Hamilton's loss was surprising for some longtime District 5 residents.

"I just thought Cheri had it locked," resident Frank Anderson said.

Kentucky Primary: Fischer breezes; Cheri Bryant Hamilton upset in District 5

Challenger Donna Purvis, a small business owner, beat Hamilton by a 154 vote margin on Tuesday.

"It's a wonderful feeling," Purvis said.

Purvis credited her win in the democratic primary to the relationships she formed by going door-to-door talking to voters.

"They were so eager to for someone to hear them," Purvis said.

Hamilton declined to speak with WAVE 3 News on Wednesday but sent a statement after her defeat:

"Of course I'm disappointed with the results and the extremely low turnout in District 5 and across the city. It has been an honor to represent this district and this community that I love for 18 years. I will continue to work to improve the quality of life and projects we've got underway in the district for the remainder of my term."

Some question if Hamilton's loss had anything to do with an ethics complaint that is pages and pages long filed just days ago by attorney Dawn Elliott. That complaint alleged Hamilton used taxpayer money for personal and campaign expenses, and used discretionary funds to buy Kentucky Derby gala tickets for family members.

Elliott co-hosts a radio show with former councilwoman Denise Bentley who is also currently a political consultant for Purvis.

"The only connection that I have is that I obtained the open records that any citizen can do in this community," Bentley said. "I reviewed the open records, asked Dawn Elliott for a legal opinion and she was outraged because she had volunteered and walked in Donna's campaign."

Hamilton told WAVE 3 News previously that the complaint was just dirty politics.

Purvis and Bentley said that voters made up their minds well before the complaint came out.

"The voters are ready for a change," Purvis said.

She also said she wants to focus on reducing crime, increasing safety in her community and do something about all of the abandoned homes.

Purvis will face Republican John Owen in November's general election.

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